We have a guest reviewer for Tim Burton’s interpretation of Lewis Carrol’s classic. Matt is with us (but don’t worry, he and Chad are pretty much the same) because Chad was absent for our viewing. Well, actually he got ditched. You see, Gina has this habit of ditching people to see a movie when SHE KNOWS they have been waiting to see it! I got ditched for Max Payne, Chad got ditched for Harry Potter 6, and we tried to ditch her once but that just give her more fuel for the fire of revenge.
To start, this wildly vivid Burton-ised film is inspired by, not based on the book. So that gives a little insight as to why it was done the way it was done. However, being created from the mind of Tim Burton, do we really need reasoning? But just putting it out there that it does not following the book any more than the Disney cartoon did; in fact, probably less so.
Kevin: I read the book before the movie and I am boggled as to how this became such a popular children’s story, it pretty disturbing! The first 15 minutes of the movie followed it pretty well in theory, and then it just went haywire from there.
This was a very dark depiction, both visually and in mood, but it worked being something different from past views. It is transformed into a creepy (almost horrific) land, and if you think about it, with all the weird characters that tormented Alice in the book, it should be! Being very colorful and out there, you’re definitely getting what you would expect from a Burton movie. However, even with the creative effects and 3D, the tempo became unnervingly slow paced. It wouldn’t be a film you would want to bring the kids to because it just won’t hold their attention. Which is a downfall being that it was such a popular Disney movie.
Some of this can be attributed to the actors. Though Mia Wasikowska was fairly impressive as Alice, especially being somewhat unknown, and the Cheshire Cat was also incorporated well. The rest of the cast felt just average. There were some pretty big names that lent voices but, because of that, couldn’t bring much else to the table. Those who were seen portrayed an almost forced effort.
Matt: My favorite was the Cheshire cat; they did him well. The CGI was spot on.
Kevin: I hated the White Queen character, but I thought Anne Hathaway’s nuances she brought were really good.
Gina: I hated her lipstick! It made her lips look so dry. And with Johnny Depp as the Madd Hater, all I kept hearing was Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka.
Matt: He was fun to watch, though, he delivered in entertainment for me.
Kevin: Tweedledee and Tweedledum were really annoying too. They were like the Jar Jar Binks of the movie.
Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Crispin Glover as the Knave Of Hearts had quite the chemistry together on screen; evil and creepy but charismatic at the same time. Though the other characters screen time, and final climax overshadowed them.
Matt: I wanted to sock up the Red Queen and her bombastic fivehead! She annoyed me, but I guess that’s the to be expected with her role.
It was a toss up with the direction they went and added storyline for the end of the film. Was it thrown in there to pick the pace up? Probably not, because Burton is historically pretty detail oriented, but it felt that way. For such a strong fantasy atmosphere, the visual gimmick sputtered out fairly quick being replaced by dialogue heavy narrative. Typically, that would be a good thing but somehow it just didn’t come together. On top of that, the action packed into the final scenes felt unwarranted. It didn’t need to go that far.
Matt: The 3D was a little hazy with the fast movement. I enjoyed the direction and contrast of the movie. I’m a Burton fan.
7 of 10 stars
Gina: I wanted to see more of Alice’s life before and after Wonderland. I don’t think they showed enough of that story. The 3D I liked, but not enough to give it a higher rating.
6 of 10 stars
Kevin: The 3D wasn’t as deep as Avatar, and I know I shouldn’t compare the two but how can you not.
6.5 of 10 stars
Combined Rating: 6.5 of 10 stars